Simple ingredients make these quick pickled carrots a breeze to prepare ahead. Flavored with vinegar, water, sugar, and salt, plus optional jalapeño and garlic for a spicy kick. These make a delicious crunchy snack, and they're also the perfect salty bite to go with all of your favorite sandwiches and wraps. Get ready, because you're going to want to keep a jar in the fridge always.
Once you know how easy these are to make, you have no choice but to make them a regular kitchen prep task in your home.
Just whisk up the simple brine, cook it for a few minutes on the stove, and let your carrots soak up the flavor.
In two days, you have the best crunchy pickled carrot sticks. Plus, you just found an easy way to eat more veggies. (This dietitian loves to see it.)
Basic quick pickling brine, like this one, is made with vinegar, water, salt, and often sugar. I add garlic for extra flavor.
Carrots themselves are ideal for quick pickling. They take a couple of days to really soak up the flavors of the brine, but those crunchy bites are well worth the wait.
Optional jalapeño pepper gives these carrots just the right amount of heat, if that's what you're going for. (I recommend it!)
- White vinegar
- Garlic (optional)
- Jalapeño pepper (optional)
See the recipe card at the end of this post for exact quantities and preparation.
Here's a basic rundown of how to make pickled carrots. You can find more detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Put carrots (and jalapeño, if using) in a jar.
Cook the vinegar brine.
Pour the brine into the jar. Set aside to cool and transfer to the fridge.
Hint: If you're unsure about the jalapeño, you can always remove the seeds and ribs from the inside of the pepper or just use part of it. You can also remove the pepper from the jar once the heat level tastes right.
These ingredients can be swapped if needed:
- Vinegar: Substitute rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
- Without Sugar: Leave out the sugar if you want. For a cane sugar substitute, try coconut sugar.
A few ways you can change up this recipe:
- Vietnamese: Shredded carrots with daikon radish (do chua).
- Mexican: Sliced carrots with onion, jalapeño, and herbs.
- No Boil: You don't have to boil the brine, but it will take longer for the flavors of the brine to infuse into the carrots. Taste the carrots after a few days, and store until flavors are right, up to two weeks. You can also slice or shred the carrots for quicker infusion times.
See my Quick Pickle Guide for more pickling tips and recipes.
- Saucepan: Use a small saucepan or pot to cook the brine on the stove. See the "no boil" variation above if you don't have one.
- Jar with lid: The recipe was tested in both 0.75 liter and 24-ounce glass jars. Cut carrot sticks (and jalapeño, if you're including it) to fit smaller jars. Just make sure you're always adding enough brine to fully cover the vegetables.
You can store the covered jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
The carrots will have the best flavor after 48 hours in the fridge, but they can be eaten sooner if needed.
This recipe isn't freezer friendly.
You might be tempted not to wait the full 48 hours before eating these. There's nothing wrong with tasting sooner, but you won't be getting full pickled carrot flavors until a couple of days have passed.
Pickled carrots have the best flavor after at least two days in the refrigerator.
Boiling the vinegar brine speeds up the time needed for pickles to soak up the flavors of the brine.
Looking for more easy meal prep recipes? Try these:
These are my favorite sandwiches to serve with pickled carrots:
Quick Pickled Carrots with Spicy Jalapeño Option
- 0.75 liter or 24-ounce glass jar with lid
- 3 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 4-inch sticks, or to fit size of jar
- 1 jalapeno pepper quartered lengthwise (optional for spicy flavor)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic , smashed (optional)
- Add carrots and jalapeño (if using) to jar with lid.
- Whisk vinegar, water, sugar, and salt (if using) in small saucepan. Add garlic cloves (if using). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and gently cook for 5 minutes, or until flavors are melded. Remove garlic cloves. Pour over the carrots in the jar until fully covered. Set aside to cool for up to 2 hours, and then refrigerate covered at least 48 hours, or until carrots are fully infused with the flavors of the brine.
- Storage: Store the covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The carrots will have the best flavor after 48 hours in the fridge, but they can be eaten sooner if needed. Not freezer friendly.
- Nutrition facts are estimates only.